Dysonium is a transuranic element and the chief power source for space-flight vessels in the early 25th century.You know, in astrogeology class I learned that there's lots of dysonium in the galaxy.— Marcus Finn
One of the most important uses of dysonium is in a ship's quantum engines, which enable faster-than-light speed travel. In the Planetary Union, dysonium is used to provide power all systems on board ships and shuttlecraft.
Dysonium can be found in large deposits on comets, moons, or some planets, usually in the mountains. The concentration of a deposit largely determines its usefulness as a power source. For example, in the episode Into the Fold, Isaac mines dysonium deposited locally on the Habitable Moon, but the concentration of dysonium is sufficient only to send a brief signal from a shuttle to the USS Orville.
Because of its usefulness to space-capable civilizations, high-energy dysonium is the focus of extensive mining operations across many star systems by the Planetary Union,[n 1] the Vega Mining Consortium, and the Krill.[n 2] The element is a source of conflict, as civilizations battle for control of mining colonies.[n 3]
Mining Captain Pria Lavesque sends a distress call to the Orville after her ship Horizon is badly damaged on the surface of a comet. She landed on the comet to collect enough dysonium to power her ship.
After crashing onto the surface of a moon, shuttle ECV-197-2's dysonium is depleted. The shuttle's energy is insufficient to run scanners or send a distress signal to the Orville. However, during its descent, the shuttle scraped against mountains, which left trace amounts of dysonium on the hull. Isaac walks to the mountains and collects dysonium. The element is not concentrated enough to do anything but send a weak signal to the parent ship.
Through internal scans of Nyxia, a planet soon to be engulfed by its sun, Isaac reports that there is a high probability that deposits of dysonium ore exist beneath the surface. With Gordon noting that the dysonium is "free gas" for the Orville, Kelly points out that the amount of dysonium could power the ship for a year, asking Lieutenant John LaMarr if it can be collected after the planet breaks up. John suggests that by modifying a wide-range tractor beam, they can weed out all the fragments containing dysonium before hauling them into the Shuttle Bay; Captain Mercer gives him approval to proceed with Isaac. Soon after, Isaac's analysis suggests that the dysonium is not natural, indicating that a subterranean civilization exists on Nyxia.
The concept of dysonium as a "fuel" for the quantum drive arose from the supervising producer, André Bormanis. He envisioned dysonium as a transuranic element that hosts an exotic material found in its nucleus with anti-gravitational properties that allows the extremely massive element to remain stable. Creator Seth MacFarlane listened to Bormanis's proposal and approved it with a simple 'sure.'
The fictional element of dysonium replaced MacFarlane's originally intended fuel source for the Orville, thorium, a real element, but it could not produce the amount of energy necessary.
Bormanis intends dysonium to have an atomic mass between 130 and 135.
- Episode 1x05: Pria (mentioned only)
- Episode 1x08: Into the Fold
- Episode 2x02: Primal Urges (mentioned only)
- ↑ Kastra 4 is a Union mining colony. Episode 1x06: Krill.
- ↑ The Krill lay claim to the resources of Chara 3. Episode 1x06: Krill.
- ↑ The Krill attack Kastra 4 and Chara 3 for its resources as well as to extinguish non-Krill life. Episode 1x06: Krill.
- ↑ Into the Fold
- ↑ Episode 1x05: Pria
- ↑ Episode 1x05: Pria
- ↑ Episode 1x08: Into the Fold
- ↑ Episode 2x01: Ja'loja
- ↑ "The Orville Fan Podcast “THINK”sgiving Episode w/ André Bormanis". Planetary Union Network. Nov. 21, 2017.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Oullette, Jennifer. "The Orville blends science fiction and science fact into a winning mix". Ars Technica. Dec. 29, 2018.
- ↑ https://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/16774-orville-interview-andre-bormanis